Saturday, December 24, 2011

...Way up north where the air gets cold

The stockings are stuffed, the tree is piled, the eggnog chilled... here's Sharon Tate to remind you to all to have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There's no angels-drawing by David Van Gough

Each Solstice, I try to make a concession-or antidote- to the sentiments of the season, and create limited edition cards for my friends. This year being no exception, here is a drawing entitled 'There's no angels' that shall be gracing mantles across the country.

Monday, December 19, 2011

High Rise-work in progress

There's almost an autonomy to painting the 'Rise' piece. It's not that I am disengaged-far from it-but dare I say that there are times when the strokes seem guided by something other than my hand...

Or perhaps the studio was a little too heady with turpentine and oil today.
In fact I know it was-it being too chill a prospect to crack the window and ventilate. It's reminded me that I want to move the studio from home in the new year. I must.
Lots of other things to look forward to, but I can't say too much because we aren't 'there' yet.

Enough for now to complete this painting by years end.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Shore

"The Shore" 1994
Acrylic on canvas

He're's a curious little painting I just rediscovered from the archives, circa mid 90's.

Someone I was emulating for about five minutes was Graham Sutherland , and for all his influence I like it much better in retrospect than I did at the time.

It was painted following a holiday in Cumbria,where I remember the fallen trees lining the lakes, made me think of rotting torso's washed up on the shore.

There may be the odd cadaver beneath those cold waters.

Interestingly, the tree motif of twisted roots and peeling bark has found its way into a lot of subsequent work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I endorse this Christmas message.

The tabloid, degenerate, darling, Banksy has been at it again-courting controversy with one of his little stunts. Banksy of course is about as anti establishment as Saatchi exhibiting the Chapman Bros-in fact Banksy is probably the brainchild of Saatchi, but that's another story.

I've given enough column inches already to this philistine, and this would have been just another note of irrelevancy, except to say that his latest wag is on my old stomping ground-The Walker Art gallery in Liverpool.
I daresay the Walker was in on it-good for them, it's a splendid gallery, that deserves national attention.

But what I
also like about the work in this instance, is that it's casting a light on an issue that far outweighs any of Banksy's usual media whoring for attention, at a time of year when religious sugar coating is predominant.
You can read the article here: Banksy unveils church abuse work

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artistic Endeavour

I realize it may sound a little like a fortune cookie, but Art-like life-is an endless endeavor. Often, it means persevering whilst trying to ignore the ever diminishing voices. You know the ones ... the resume of failures, the unscaled peaks, the petty jealousies, the diminishing returns, the bank balance, the crows feet in the mirror that remind you it's another year. Sometimes you ignore them, sometimes you don't.
It can be a din in there, the unrealized dreams fighting for prominence against the reminder that there's rent to be paid, whilst stacks of unsold canvases line the walls, and the nights draw colder, longer and closer to Christmas.

Did Vincent burn canvas stretchers to keep warm I wonder?

Then there are the mornings, the battle with the fatigue of a restless night before, the cold, the umpteenth cup of tea, the news that the economy seems unsalvageable and Tracy Emin is now a professor of drawing, the what the fuck should I paint today, and what's the point anyway.

And then I walk into my studio and this is what awaits me.

Yes,it's a game of endurance, but its the only game worth playing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Death and the Maiden drawing by David Van Gough

Death and the Maiden
9" x 9"
Felt tip pen on paper

The Death and the maiden motif has been one which has always fascinated me, so using Sharon Tate's likeness was going to be an obvious progression.
Little did I know that Polanski titled one of his films in the same vein. Anyway, I produced this sketch using felt tip pens-something I used consistently when I was a child-so it gives the impression of observing the murders from quite a naive point of view.

I think it worked out quite well for a sketch.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The difference between oil and water-David Gough work in progress

For me, a painting never really comes to life until I paint it in oils-it doesn't fight with me in quite the same way that acrylics do.

Something else that I've been battling...

Since first reading the Bugulosi book way back in the 80's, there's been a wealth of material made available, published both in book form and on the web, so I've been revisiting the Manson story in depth as these pieces take shape.

As my sketchbooks margins swell with side notes daily, it's becoming obvious to me that what was intended as a smaller series is transitioning into a larger collection of work, with the necessity for a complete artistic case study.

Rather than inflict my diversion into the territory of conspiracy theory , onto the readership purely
here for the art, I shall be starting a second blog-title as yet undecided-early in the new year. I shall of course still be maintaining regular updates here.